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Efficient cross-modal transfer of shape information in visual and haptic object categorization

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83925

Gaissert,  N
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84302

Waterkamp,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84272

van Dam,  L
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83839

Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84298

Wallraven,  C
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Gaissert, N., Waterkamp, S., van Dam, L., Bülthoff, H., & Wallraven, C. (2011). Efficient cross-modal transfer of shape information in visual and haptic object categorization. Talk presented at 12th International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF 2011). Fukuoka, Japan.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B9F0-D
Abstract
Categorization has traditionally been studied in the visual domain with only a few studies focusing on the abilities of the haptic system in object categorization. During the first years of development, however, touch and vision are closely coupled in the exploratory procedures used by the infant to gather information about objects. Here, we investigate how well shape information can be transferred between those two modalities in a categorization task. Our stimuli consisted of amoeba-like objects that were parametrically morphed in well-defined steps. Participants explored the objects in a categorization task either visually or haptically. Interestingly, both modalities led to similar categorization behavior suggesting that similar shape processing might occur in vision and haptics. Next, participants received training on specific categories in one of the two modalities. As would be expected, training increased performance in the trained modality; however, we also found significant transfer of training to the other, untrained modality after only relatively few training trials. Taken together, our results demonstrate that complex shape information can be transferred efficiently across the two modalities, which speaks in favor of multisensory, higher-level representations of shape.